Good Morning everyone
Today is the 4 week and 1 day “anniversary” of my first License Application (3rd Unlimited Engineer, DDE unlimited, etc). To say that I am frustrated is an understatement. The last update to my application status was on May 17th, 19 days ago when it went to “currently being evaluated”. Before May 17th, everything was going quickly and without problems it seemed. My last dealing with the NMC was a few years ago and that went quickly, with emails back and forth with my evaluator and I was approved to test very quickly.
I have contacted the NMC 2 times since May 17th, trying to be patient. I understand that a license application takes more then a QMED application to process. The first time I contacted the NMC was by phone on May 25th. I was told that the evaluator had to get previous paperwork, and that came in the previous day, the 24th. Okay, I thought, no big deal. Just a little more patience. A week later on June 1st I emailed the NMC wondering what my status was(we are at sea now) and they said my evaluator needed more information from me as I goofed up on something(forgot to put Motors on my DDE). Typical for me to goof up on some government paperwork! I asked in the response email to the NMC to please be contacted if there were any further questions, and their response was that my email was forwarded to the appropriate personnel. I sent another email off this morning asking why I have not been contacted, why I have to keep asking them if they need anything, and if they needed anything to please email me and ask like the last 3 times I have asked them to.
Is the NMC not contacting me for some reason? What am I doing wrong here? Anyone? I have had 3 other co-workers apply, email, have conversations with their NMC evaluators and get approved to test in the last 4 weeks.
I would of liked to test this time home but thats not going to happen. Anyone have any suggestions?
I agree with Richard8000. Patience is the key. However, I would try to get in direct contact with your evaluator. At this stage of the process you surely have been assigned a single evaluator. Take the mindset that now your job is to fully “assist” your evaluator. This is a big deal in your career path in our chosen profession. Treat this transition accordingly. You must proliferate a sense of patience and a sense of urgency at the same time. Being courteous is the key when you communicate in any way with the NMC. Try to get the evaluator on the phone. This may take several attempts and several voicemails. Be persistent but courteous. You catch more bees with honey than vinegar. After you finally get the evaluator on the horn, ask pertinent direct questions without raising your voice. Remember, you’re not in the engine room…lol. Essentially you will be doing their job for them, take the load off of them and assist them. I know it may sound weird. I found these tactics to work wonders after negotiating with the IRS on a daily basis. Just saying…give it a whirl.
Good: I received a status update! Need more Information. We will see what they want later today.
Bad: No email from my evaluator, again.
So they want me to turn in another Application the website says, so I have to refrence the letter sent to my house. Why cant the website tell me what the letter says?!? Anyways…
My big question is that by submitting another application, does my application date change? Specifically 46 CR 11.205 subpart d, “…must have been completed within five years before the date of application for the officer endorsement requested.”
Day 64, still waiting.
My last 2.5 years have been on an OSV. I have had talks with my company training guy and the USCQ, and I was told up until about a year ago they were still accepting sea time at 12 hours for QMEDs. I know of 4 people of the top of my head that have been granted 12 hour days in our company, just none within the last year. Last time I heard from the NMC was 3 weeks ago. My rep was going to submit my seatime request and some other information to someone higher up on the food chain, and then call me back asap. Well 3 weeks and 3 phone calls I still have not heard anything. Last time I called I was told this was going up the chain of command at the call center, and I would at least hear back from someone in 48 hours max. Its been 36 hours, so I am not holding my breath.
At this point I might just resubmit my application for DDE 4000. I am tired of waiting and waiting. And I can at least get 12 hour days working at a DDE!
[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;74217]It is not legal for an oiler to work more than eight hours a day, so you cannot get day and a half credit.[/QUOTE]
I agree, this is what our take on the Code of Shipping says. But our company, and all other companies I have heard of down here, run 12 hour days. Our OSV COI states 2 oilers and 2 Licensed Engineers. Our normal COI says 3 oilers and 3 licensed engineers. That is how our company runs their hundreds of ships, everyone works 12 hours a day unless you are not in the Gulf where you have to run a normal COI. The Alaska boats, Hawaii, Asia, etc run 8 hour days for all personal.
This is why our training coordinator flew to Virginia for a week last month for meetings with the USCG. Our COI’s say run 2 watches, the code of shipping says 3. He said after a week of meetings they didnt get any closer resolving this issue.
Any suggestions other then get my DDE 4000? I dont know what else to do.
I agree, there is no point in waiting. This is an ongoing situation in my company, that is why he flew up there I am assuming. Dozens of Oilers seem to be having this problem, not just me. I just asked for the NMC to review my time 3 weeks ago.
The raise to dde 4000 is over 300/day, and I would transfer to a smaller ship to cut my teeth. I am calling again today and changing my application. The tests are smaller anyways. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
[QUOTE=KPEngineer;74484]Why would anyone not apply for a license if you are eligible. You don’t have to sail on it if you don’t want to but at least get it. Give yourself as many options as you can. Get it and keep it!
Engineering licenses are easy to maintain even with no sea time. Two 50 question multiple choice tests (Motors and Safety) and BST if you have STCW.[/QUOTE]
I applied for my unlimited DDE originally. So now to get my DDE 4000 I have to resubmit a completely new application, pay the non-refundable fee again, and start back at 0. The NMC cant add/modify/change my current application to include lower level licenses. The NMC did say this morning that they dont know why I wasnt contacted from the other day, and that my application is still being evaluated by the “government officer” whatever that means. Here goes another 300 bucks. I am really starting to not like the NMC.
Why do I feel I will apply, test, and be issued my DDE 4000 before I even hear back from this “government officer”?
Try writing a letter to the NMC asking that your application be amended to DDE 4000 from unlimited. I changed my last app twice even after I had been approved to test but they needed it in writing. I also was approved for a lower license than I applied for, NC instead of Oceans.
They may mean that they can’t change it just by your say so.
I believe you were told wrong. You can ammend your application to a lower license if you do not qualify for what you applied for. Honestly, they should offer that automatically. “You don’t qualify for dde unlimited but you do qualify for dde 4000. Do you want that instead?”
I understand the sentiment but I disagree. An ever larger part of our jobs involves being able to read, understand and apply regulations. Not to mention a fair number of CFR questions on the exams. Think of your license application as practice.
[QUOTE=tugsailor;74521]This is why people like Andy Hammond are in business: To help mariners deal with the NMC. Just hire someone help you; it will be the best $200 you’ve ever spent.[/QUOTE]
It’s a sad state of affair that you have to hire an insider, submit your paperwork and then pay to have it evaluated.